(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

In the last days of July these appeals were repeated several times during
every twenty-four hours. The voice of Moscow did not and could not
influence the Polish people. Five years previously., when Warsaw had
been fighting the Germans against desperate odds, the same Russian radio
stations had called on the people of the Polish capital to lay down their
arms and resign themselves to their fate,, " since the Polish State (they
repeated Molotov's words) had virtually ceased to exist."
At the end of July3 Warsaw heard the rumble of Soviet artillery re-
sounding behind the Vistula. The Germans had begun to evacuate their
offices from the city and start a large-scale round-up of men for work on
fortifications. The moment cherished in the minds of the people of the
Capital during those five long years of German occupation^ the moment
for the rising^ had come at last.
The responsibility for choosing the time to begin this action in Poland
(an action referred to as " Burza/'  Tempest) was vested., by the authori-
sation of the Polish Government, in three men in Warsaw., Klonowski (Jan
Jankowski) the Government's Delegate and Vice-Premier, General B6r3
Commander-in-Chief of the Home Army.,* and to Kazimierz Puzak,
Chairman of the Council of National Unity. These men decided upon
five o'clock in the afternoon of August i. The information that several
German armoured divisions were approaching the Vistula in order to
cross it eastward and stem the approaching Russians., whose vanguards
were then ten miles from the city, was the deciding factor . . . Some of
these German divisions were directed towards Warsaw., the others to the
north of the capital,, to Modlin. The first outcome of the rising in Warsaw
was the blocking of the bridges against the advancing Germans. These
bridges became the main objective of some bitter fighting and passed from
hand to hand several times during the ensuing battles.
The Poles succeeded in occupying almost the whole of the city in the
first three days., and the Germans., reduced to defending isolated fortified
buildings had., in the main, been obliged to surrender. On every captured
building and in every street along the line of battle,, the Polish national
flags were hoisted.
The German report of the outbreak of the rising, given on September 2
by D.N.B. underlined :
..." This rising has for a long time been systematically prepared by
those forces who hide behind the covering name of * New Polish Army/
The instigators have been able to catch a not inconsiderable part of Polish
youth for this Army. It formed a comparatively small nucleus^ which was,
however^ strictly organised and very well trained and which was able to
maintain complete secrecy even towards the Polish population. Groups
* B6r translated literally means "old forest." It was the pseudonym chosen
by General Komorowskij the Commander of a Brigade in 1939, and Commander
of the Home Army from 19433 after his predecessor had been captured by the
Germans.
286